It’s almost winter, which means the perfect season for fall-apart tender braised beef is almost here!
Braising allows you to transform economical cuts of beef into succulent, comforting and fall-apart tender meat. You don’t need a particular recipe to braise successfully – you just need to master the braising basics. So, here are the simple steps of mastering braised beef!
Choose your meat
Economical and tough cuts of beef are the best for braising, as the ‘low and slow’ cooking and moist heat breaks down tough muscle fibres and renders the meat deliciously tender. Perfect beef cuts for braising include short ribs (bone in), chuck, shin, round and brisket. We recommend that you choose bone-in meat if possible, as this will infuse your braising liquid with loads of beefy flavour.
Brown the meat
The first and most important step to a delicious braise is to brown the meat – here’s what you need to do:
- Preheat the oven to 165ºC
- Trim the beef of excess fat
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a 4-6 litre Dutch oven over medium heat (a Dutch oven is a large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. It can be used on the stove or in the oven)
- Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the hot oil (it should sizzle on impact). Brown the meat on all sides, turning as needed. Cook the meat until it is golden brown on the outside, but don’t let it cook all the way through.
- Optional – remove the meat from the pan and pour out any fat, then return the meat to the pan.
Add liquid and seasonings
The following suggestions are for a whole 1-1.5 kilo beef roast:
Use about ¾ of a cup of liquid. Choices include beef or vegetable broth, apple juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, wine, beer, water or a mixture.
Add about 1 teaspoon (dried) or 1 tablespoon (fresh) of dried basil, herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning, oregano or thyme.
Optional liquid flavour enhancers
If you want an extra kick to your flavour, consider adding about a tablespoon of barbeque sauce, Dijon-style mustard, soy sauce, steak sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Braise until tender
Shut the lid and place the pot in the oven. For a 1-2 kilogram roast, we recommend cooking at about 165ºC for 2-3 hours. For more information about cooking times, see these cooking times from Beef & Lamb.
Make it a meal
Transform your braised beef into a meal by adding potatoes and other vegetables about 30-45 minutes before the beef is done. Consider veggies like butternut squash, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, leeks and onions. Make sure that you cover the pan tightly after adding any additional ingredients.
This information in this post is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.